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ASPECTS OF ENGLISH LITERATURE: 1590 - 1660


Module Level: 3

Module Tutor: M. Pugmire.

Module Credit Value: 20 Credit Points.

Module Aims and Objectives:

An introduction to key aspects of the literature and literary thought of the period 1580 to 1660. The module will attempt, within the strict limits imposed by double-module length, to introduce students to the literature, including some of its varied genres and some of the developments it exhibited during the period, and through this literature to something of the intellectual climate of the period.

To this end it will study some important literary forms in the period (metaphysical poetry of wit, the heroic poem, social comic drama, and the revenge play), consider central ideas present in the literature (neo-platonism, traditional morality, freedom and aspiration in both non-puritan and puritan forms), and briefly present the socio-intellectual background.

While the double-module will revisit some material and ideas studied in a Level 2 module, it deals with this material in a distinctive and more ambitious context.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the double-module, students should be able to


Indicative Content:
The paradisal and the fallen; the human paradox: Sidneyís Apology for Poetry, Shakespeareís Hamlet etc.
Poetry of wit. Donne, Herbert, Marvell, some early Milton.
Dramatic violence: revenge tradition. Kyd, Middleton, Shakespeare (Hamlet), etc..
Individualism and the heterodox aspiration: Marlowe, esp. Tamburlaine Part 1, Dr. Faustus, and Miltonís Satan.
Aspiration and traditional Morality. Jonsonís comedies.
The Puritan individualist: Milton and freedom. Areopagitica, and Sampson Agonistes.
Literary aspiration: The Faerie Queene (briefly considered) and Paradise Lost.

Specific Texts:

Marlowe: Tamburlaine, Part 1 and Dr. Faustus
Jonson: The Alchemist and Volpone
Donne: Songs and Sonets
Sidney: Apology of Poetry
Shakespeare: Hamlet, etc.
Herbert: The Temple
Milton: Extracts from Ode on the Morning of Christís Nativity, Comus, and Areopagitica , plus Paradise Lost
Kyd: A Spanish Tragedy
Shakespeare: Hamlet
Middleton: The Changeling
Webster: The White Devil

Teaching and Learning Strategies:

There will be background lectures on the intellectual, sociological and geo-political context. Considerable emphasis will be placed upon tutor-led seminars on the texts studied, and on student-led group work based upon prior study.

Assessment Strategies :
A 4,000 word assignment, and a 3 hour examination.

Bibliography:


Required Reading

Hardy, C. & Stone, B, Elizabethan Poetry, O.U., 1972

Jump, J (ed) Hamlet (Casebook), Macmillan, 1987

Leggatt, A Ben Jonson: his Vision and his Art, Methuen, 1981
       
Lewis, C.S Preface to Paradise Lost, OUP

King, B 17th Century English Literature, Macmillan, 1982
       
Lovelock, J Donne: Songs and Sonnets (Casebook), Macmillan, 1973
          
Parr, D.M Thomas Middleton, OUP, 1976

Recommended Reading 
        
Barish, J.A Ben Jonson and the Language of Prose Comedy, Cambridge, 1960
        
Brown, J.R. & Jacobean Theatre (Stratford upon Avon Studies), Arnold, 1960
      
Carey, J John Donne: Life, Mind and Art, Faber, 1983

Empson, W Miltonís God, Chatto and Windus, 1961
      
John, DMarlowe; Dr Faustus, a Casebook, Macmillan, 1969

Jones, E, Milton: Authors in their Age, Blackie, 1977

Levin, H, The Overreacher, Faber, 1962 

ed Martz, L.L, Poet of Exile, as Study of the Poetry of John Milton, Yale, 1980
    
Parfitt, G Ben Jonson: Private Man and Public Poet, Dent, 1976
      
Patrides, C.A, Milton and the Christian Tradition, OUP, 1966

Peters, H.(ed) John Donne: Paradoxes and Problems, OUP, 1980

Roston, M, Milton and the Baroque, Macmillan, 1980
         
Sanders, W, Donne's Poetry, Cambridge, 1971

Steane, J.B, Marlowe, a Critical Study, CUP, 1964 

Ed Thorpe, J, Milton Criticism: a Selection from Four Centuries, Routledge, 1951     
Willey,B, The Seventeenth Century Background, Penguin

Winny, J, Preface to Donne, Methuen, 1974

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